There is this. The place we go when we seek direction, when we yearn to pray, when we need to be still. We light a candle on the household altar, leave an offering at the temple door, place a kata around the teacher’s neck, slip into a pew and make the sign of the cross. ...Continue Reading…

Last Monday, I woke up in my own bed after several days away in the fabled land of Aldermarsh, and I felt a bit lost. Where was the Northwest/Zen-style bedroom? The pure white comforter, the clean wood trim, the woven wall hangings from Thailand and New Mexico? Why was the teapot in the wrong place? ...Continue Reading…

I find myself slowing down, as I finalize preparations for my retreat at the end of the week. I think I’ve entered retreat time already. Yesterday afternoon I headed out to the island where I used to live. After crossing the water on the small ferry, I dropped Craig and his music gear off at ...Continue Reading…

I’ve just come home from an extraordinary retreat at my beloved Aldermarsh. This retreat, led by Christina Baldwin, was called “Self as Source of the Story,” based on her book Storycatcher. During the week, the Muses shook me upside down, spun me around, and put me back together again. This morning I resisted the urge to ...Continue Reading…

(I took this photo one week ago, the evening before the Gaian Soul Retreat began at Aldermarsh Retreat Center on Whidbey Island.  Oh yes, heaven!  I’m in the process of writing a blog post about the retreat. It was extraordinary.)

I’m taking a fun and fabulous e-course called “Montage,” from Vivienne McMaster, on making these quirky little personal videos. Too. Much. Fun! This is my first attempt. I like it. What do you think?

(This post is a sneak peek at some of the content from my Gaian Soul Seasonal Practices e-courses. See Part 1 here. Enjoy!) Choose a special place to visit. It can be known as a sacred site, or perhaps it is just special to you in some personal way. It could be a hill you want to climb, ...Continue Reading…

Lady Spring arrived in all Her glory last Saturday. The brilliant, unexpected sunshine made everyone in town giddy with joy. We started the day off at Opening Day of the Bellingham Farmers Market. Then moved on to a walk by the bay . . . And ended up at a wine bar, listening to cool ...Continue Reading…

Here in the woods of the Pacific Northwest, March begins in rain. And in snow. Yesterday I counted three kinds of snowflakes: big, fat, fluffy ones; thin watery ones; and hard pellets of hail. Today I woke to a chickadee’s call. I hear a faint whisper:  “Persephone returns!” They say that in Seattle (a hundred ...Continue Reading…

(Guest post and photographs by Jason Smalley of Essence of Wild and Barefoot Breathing.) Her fingernails soiled from digging, my teenage daughter Tanya scrapes the dirt from the bowl of the old clay pipe. Propping herself against a gnarly old Hawthorn she pretends to smoke, inhaling deeply before blowing fake smoke dramatically out into the ...Continue Reading…

A guest post by Loran Hills of Loran’s Heart. (Joanna’s note: I am fascinated by the ways that people love the Places they call home, and I love hearing their stories. Here’s one by my friend Loran.) I raise my arms and greet the east: In my youth I dreamed of living in the country.  ...Continue Reading…

(Looking back to 2007 and this post.)

“Blessed be the precious and preserving water, the water of life, our cleansing guest.” - Caitlin Matthews This week, over in my “Gaian Soul Practices for Candlemas” e-course, we are considering the theme of “Cleansing and Purification.”  So there’s a water theme weaving its way through the material. Today’s journal prompt is: What bodies of ...Continue Reading…

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